Home » News & Analysis » Navy: USS Little Rock Sidelined by Ice; Not Suffering Engineering Casualty


Navy: USS Little Rock Sidelined by Ice; Not Suffering Engineering Casualty

USS Little Rock (LCS-9) approaches Montreal on Dec. 24, 2017, for a port visit. The ship is currently stuck in Montreal due to icy conditions in the St. Lawrence River and a shortage of icebreaking tugs. Photo courtesy USS Little Rock Blue Crew – Warhawgs Facebook page.

Newly commissioned Littoral Combat Ship USS Little Rock (LCS-9) is stuck indefinitely in Montreal due to extreme winter weather and an icy St. Lawrence River, and the Navy denies rumors the ship is sidelined with an engineering casualty.

The ship’s crew did make repairs to cables that run under the hull upon arriving in Montreal, but the weather is solely responsible for the warship being stuck in port in Canada until the ice melts, officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

U.S. Surface Force Atlantic spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson told USNI News that Little Rock departed Buffalo, N.Y., later than expected after its Dec. 16 commissioning ceremony due to extreme weather conditions. The ship had a scheduled port call in Montreal over the holidays, but while transiting the icy St. Lawrence River to Montreal the ship saw damage to feedback cables that “did not impact the ability of the ship to transit the seaway.”

The damaged feedback cables connect the bridge and the steerable water jets. They do not send commands from the bridge to the waterjets, but rather they send feedback information to the bridge to tell operators that the waterjets did follow the commands given. The cables run underneath the hull, and Hillson said that “root cause of the failure is currently unknown, but based on components being frozen and iced over, it is likely that ice was a contributing factor.”

Repairs to these cables were completed on Jan. 4, and Hillson said “the ship was ready to depart Montreal, but the extreme cold, subsequent condition of the St. Lawrence Seaway and availability of icebreakers and support ships caused the delay.”

The crew of USS Little Rock (LCS-9) man the rails during the ship’s commissioning ceremony Dec. 16, 2017 in Buffalo, N.Y. US Navy Photo

USNI News understands that many commercial ships became completely stuck as the river froze over in abnormally cold weather. Canadian officials prioritized their icebreaking tugs for freeing commercial vessels, and the U.S. Navy now must wait to move Little Rock until the waterways become safe for passage again – which could potentially happen in March, based on the typical weather in the region. Photos on a USS Little Rock Facebook page show the warship following tugs during its transit into Montreal, with a narrow strip of the river being passable and the rest frozen.

Hillson said the Little Rock crew has sufficient equipment and supplies to continue training pierside in Montreal.

“Because of their extended port visit due to the weather and icy conditions, underway testing and assessments will be adjusted and re-scheduled,” she told USNI News.
“The sailors are mission-oriented and continue to focus on readiness, training and certifications while they remain in port Montreal. Specific to training, USS Little Rock sailors are conducting training to maintain proficiency in areas such as medical, damage control, navigation and security.”

Hillson added the crew would also partake in partnership-building and volunteer activities in the region.

Once the ship is finally able to leave Montreal, it will resume its voyage to its new homeport in Mayport, Fla.

  • Curtis Conway

    If the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) gets underway with all that ice in the water, I bet she Will have an Engineering Casualty even with Icebreakers.

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      Wishful thinking perhaps. That’s not very nice of you to think the crew would induce another engineering casualty considering all previous were self induced. You do know they stepped up engineering training though.

      • Curtis Conway

        It wont be the crew. It will be their propulsion equipment trying to deal with ice ingestion.

        • MarlineSpikeMate

          Sea chest and water jet intakes are on the bottom side of the hull.

          • johnbull

            How’s this for a suggestion? Swap her out for the museum ship that is her namesake! The museum gets a vessel that floats, the navy gets a vessel that might actually be able to drive and fight.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            how so?

          • johnbull

            Just tongue in cheek, trying to be humorous!

          • Curtis Conway

            Yeah, and the older ship can handle a little ice.

          • PolicyWonk

            Let alone built to warship standards…

          • Curtis Conway

            I’m familiar with Sea Chest coming off of two cruisers, the first a Steam Ship. You would be surprised what comes our of the Sea Chest when they clean them out. Coming down a freshwater estuary with an Icebreaker right in front will probably not bode well for the Sea Chest, or the intakes for the propulsors while the LCS suck a lot of water for propulsion. It is not propelled with propellers on a shaft. Where does the water come from? Big intakes.

          • Lazarus

            Sea chests have filters that trap incoming obstructions including ice.

          • Dave Henk

            True that sea chests do but then the LCS does not use them. You need a smooth flow through the intakes as close to the impellers as possible. That is what the LCS water jets use.

          • Lazarus

            LCS waterjet intake tunnels have protective grates that would prevent the ingestion of large chunks of ice. Suggest current, drifting ice, and uncertain traffic in other ships has resulted in ORM that precludes getting underway.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Apples and oranges. Sea chest are intakes for the fire-main and seawater service system. The intakes for the water-jets are different. The point is that sea chest are again, RELATED to the propulsion system. Several sea chest plus four water-jet intakes are are the “holes” in the hull that maybe could be damaged by ice.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            You are familiar with “sea chest”? Thats like saying you are familiar with a valve. My 5 year old nephew knows what a sea chest is. How on earth would a seachest be affected by icy water? Even more so, how are the LCS sea chests different from any other vessel?

          • Dave Henk

            LCS propulsion does not use any sea chest. Straight intakes in hull bottom close to the stern. Not remotely the same.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            No one is saying the propulsion system uses “sea chest” to intake water for the water-jets.. The sea chest however are RELATED to the propulsion system..

          • Dave Henk

            The water jet propulsion system does not use any “Sea Chest”. It’s input is very near the stern and shallow and is more akin to a jet intake. Tremendous amount of water flow of up to 500,000 gal per minute generates very high suction rates. Very much an extreme amount of suction that is more than capable of ingesting ice. When the ship moves forward some ice will be churned downward. The intakes are fairly shallow therefore very likely to be able to pull some ice into the impellers. Why would you chance damaging the propulsion system? I’d note that someone posted the ship had engineering failures and was towed. This is false. The ship was delayed in Buffalo for 4 days do to the weather and icing in the water way. Also note that Commercial shipping had a higher priority to exit the waterway before shut down for the winter ice. The Winter Ice came early and was unexpected. The only engineering casualty was to a feedback cable on one of the water jets. It was a quick fix and spares for that were available on board. Ship could have proceeded just fine without an immediate replacement as it not a control item but just information that was otherwise available through alternate means.
            Personally not a fan of this class. Perhaps after pouring more money it can become more useful. The speed design is over rated. Lack of sufficient firepower is significant. Again not a fan of the program as a whole. I’d much rather be on a Perry class FFG (before they defanged it) than an LCS.

          • Lazarus

            The Perry class was obsolete 20 years ago when I was a Combat Systems officer on one. They needed to be replaced. Waterjets inlets have a protective grate that prevents the ingestion of large chunks of ice.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Obviously the water jet propulsion system does not use a “sea chest”. The only two things I could see Curtis Conway might refer to when talking about damaging the propulsion system was that and the water jet. The sea chest being related to the “propulsion system” by supplying water to the seawater service system and the heat exchangers that thus cool the lube oil and jacket water for the main engines…

            Look at the thumbnail for this article. I think were making a mountain out of a molehill. Is there a possibility that ice could get ingested and damage the water jets? Sure. Has similar sized water-jet vessels gone through moderate ice (such as the thumbnail shows). Yes.

            The intakes are at the bottom of the hull, close to its max draft. This can be seen by simply googling LCS dry dock. Wikipedia shows the draft around 14ft. This is lower than a traditional screw on a DDG, where the hull tappers up and the shaft exits. Water is sucked in all around this area much closer to the waterline than a typical water-jet on a large vessel.

        • MarlineSpikeMate

          See my above comment.

      • Curtis Conway

        Like I said, this has nothing to do with the crew other than the Ward Room who would attempt to get underway in a jet boat in Icy Water.

    • Lazarus

      Why? What makes you say that? Only ONE LCS has ever had a breakdown underway. One had a combining gear casualty in port while turning over engines for a PMS check. There have been many DDG’s with similar casualties but that part of surface navy never got any negative coverage until recent collision investigations revealed that DDG’s had just as many issues and perhaps more than did LCS. Stop spreading “fake” LCS news.

      • NavySubNuke

        Come on Laz. We all realize you have sacrificed all personal integrity when it comes to defending this failed program but at least try not to accuse others of spreading fake news while spreading it yourself.
        From USNI – dated Sep 16 2016 – “UPDATED: Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery Suffers Engineering Casualty, Fifth LCS Casualty Within Last Year”
        “Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered two unrelated engineering casualties during a transit in the Gulf of Mexico and is heading to Florida for repairs, the Navy told USNI News on Friday.
        On Sept. 13, Independence-class ship was bound for the Panama Canal when Montgomery suffered two engineering failures. Now the ship is headed to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba under its own power but under propulsion restrictions before returning to Naval Station Mayport, Fla. for repairs, Naval Surface Forces confirmed to USNI News.”

        “Montgomery’s casualty — only days after the ship was commissioned — is the latest in a string of engineering failures in both classes of LCS this year. In late August, Independence-class LCS USS Coronado (LCS-4) suffered a casualty in route from Pearl Harbor to Singapore for a planned deployment. Days earlier, the Navy confirmed USS Freedom (LCS-2) would have to have a main propulsion diesel engine replaced after sea water flooded the lube oil system. In January, operator error caused a complex gearing system in Freedom-class LCS USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) to suffer extensive damage which resulted in the removal of the ship’s commander. The year before a software problem in USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) caused a similar casualty in its gearing system.”

        • Curtis Conway

          Yeah! Star Trek Captian of Engineering Montgomery Scott (Scotty) would not be happy with these engineers. First, KNOW your equipment . . . then Know thyself and Know thy Enemy, and your will always be victorious.

        • Lazarus

          An engineering casualty is not an engineering breakdown at sea that renders all propulsion inoperative.

          • NavySubNuke

            Exactly. Curtis’ post wasn’t about that — it was about the ships suffering an engineering casualty.
            You then, in a deliberate attempt to mislead people, then specified a different standard and accused him of lying and spreading fake news.
            The really sad part is how easily and effortlessly you sacrifice your integrity when it comes to your attempts to hide the numerous failures of this program. You don’t seem like the type who bothers taking time for self reflection but if you ever do you should consider what it is about this program that makes you regularly lie and deceive rather then being honest.

      • Curtis Conway

        Now let us at least TRY to engage our brains here . . . The LCS propells itself through the water HOW? Where does the massive amounts of water come from to go out the propulsion jets? Have we tried this in an ice environment before? I am interested if the Chief Engineer on the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) is anxious to get underway in that icy waterway?!

        • Lazarus

          You of course know that any seawater system has intake filters.

          • Curtis Conway

            If so confident you are about the ability of the propulsion system to ingest ice while underway as a normal operational condition, then what is the word from the two manufacturers w/r/t this topic? Has it EVER been tested. I suspect the answer is not coming, and the ship will get underway after a day or two of decent above freezing temperatures. That’s my guess, and that is what it is…

            The safest way to get USS Little Rock (LCS-9) to open waters is for the USCG Icebreaker to tow her . . . those photos would be precious.

          • PolicyWonk

            Indeed, there are a number of wags who’ve posted on this and other forums that each LCS should come with equipped with a subscription to TOWBOAT US.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Hello. You do realize many a vessels around the world use this propulsion system, even in icy waters! GASP! Say it ain’t so!

            For example, look at the HSCs that operate around Jutland with wartzilla water jets.

            Now then, lets use our heads and understand that:
            1) The intakes are at the bottom of the vessel, 18ft or so below the waterline.
            2) Ice floats
            3) Intakes and seachest are protected by grates.

            and finally 4) Ice damages the hull first and for-most.

            Do they give these SWO pins out? “Hey ENS, whats a sea chest?” O boy Skip, its a thing that sucks in ice for our motors. Congrats boy, heres your sea warrior pin, now go drive that ship and tell those merchies to stay out of the way.”

          • Curtis Conway

            Yeah, whatever, the LCS is staying IN PORT until the ice melts. Have a great day.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            Ok thanks for the inquisitive and thoughtful counter points. You have a good day as well.

          • Dave Henk

            Mostly correct. However Jutland does not have any where near the ice conditions that the St Lawrence Sea Way has. Denmark contracts out tug ice breakers as needed (shipping pays). Jutland is a peninsula surrounded by sea water. The area is not prone to any major icing except close to shore or smaller inlets and coves. LCS is stuck in a very narrow fresh water seaway. Ice floats. However when a vessel moves through the water the ice doesn’t just move aside. Water effects can easily pull some under water. Freedom class draft is 12 ft max (less at stern). Actually depending on the ice the propulsion system and other underwater projections are the most vulnerable. Take a look at how much ice is chewed up via an ice breakers propellers.

          • MarlineSpikeMate

            The hull is always what first makes an ice-class vessel an ice-class vessel. Only in the higher tiers will you see the rudder and screws strengthened such as
            1A super, and 1A or whatever class society you use.

          • Dave Henk

            Coast Guard Icebreakers lead ships in close convoys they don’t as a rule tow them. Reason is the ice breaker needs to be able to move freely even going astern at times to make a run onto the ice.

          • Curtis Conway

            Yep, it would take the Breaker way out front with a tug towing its charge following at a significant distance for safety.

          • Curtis Conway

            I would REALLY like to know the Official Position of the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) EOOW, and CHENG on this subject. We will eventually see what the CO does. At this point I would think discussions between the Squadron CMDR and the Type CMD would be flying fast and furious.

          • Dave Henk

            Not intake filters per se. It does have a series of fore and aft blades to prevent large items from being ingested but to maintain a smooth flow of water. However it does not preclude ingesting broken up ice that can be readily churned under the hull by the ships passage through broken up ice.

      • Curtis Conway

        If you have a SWO designation I am shocked!

  • PRONESE

    Ill-Littoral-ate. SMH…

  • D. Jones

    Feedback is ESSENTIAL for control systems.

    Without feedback, things are open loop.

    The steering system clearly was damaged. Feedback is part of the system. That IS an engineering casualty. Call it what you will: an “oopsie”, a “gee whiz” or an “uh-oh”.

    Take any drive by wire vehicle and remove feedback. You’ll be off the road in 100′. Since ships have a much longer response time constant, you can nurse them into port open loop. But the fact remains it’s broken.

    Is this bucket under warranty? Send it back to Wisconsin.

    • DaSaint

      Why the heck are these feedback cables ‘under the hull’? Shouldn’t they be in the hull, enclosed, safe from debris and possible damage?

      • Lazarus

        Suggest the PAO misunderstood. USS Freedom had a similar casualty in 2013 and divers were not required to fix.

  • Bud W

    Littoral is the problem,the hull can not get through the ice another gold plated piece of junk

    • Angie Nathan

      I do not believe that ice is the only reason it is stationary. Other previous V hulls have been out in icy water with an icebreaker and the cold snap is over. Me think March is big heap long time for world super power to wait for ice escort.

    • kye154

      Just turn on the water jets now, and you will immediately have some serious engineering problems. Those water jets were not designed to ingest ice,or much of anything else, except for water.. The LCS is pretty much an overpriced speed boat made for tropical operations, and nothing more. Its not suitable for harsher climates. And you thought it was questionable for combat! Icy weather seemed to defeat it pretty easily.

      • Lazarus

        All seawater intakes have a filter basket that traps stuff like sea plants, dead fish, and ice. I suggest that no Navy ship would get underway in these conditions. The large bow-mounted sonars on the DDG and CG class would be very vulnerable to ice damage and those ships would be even less likely to be underway than would LCS.

  • Angie Nathan

    It made it to Canada only needing minor repairs, not bad for an LCS. I doubt the ship is pushed any harder than cross your fingers (and hope we make it) speed the rest of the way to Florida, but, you never know. How about having a Discovery film crew to do a fancy video (like the propaganda ones) except this time do a live feed version while pouring the coals to it in March on its way to Florida? If this ship is everything that it is bragged up to be, why not show it off? I think the taxpayers (the owners) deserve seeing what their $300 – $800 million (I believe over a billion per copy) ship can do. If 9 and 11 can drink (not sip) fuel without spitting out parts over distance, I could at least give these ships credit for being able to do something other than float.

    • PolicyWonk

      Maybe not all that bad an idea. But lets face it: the problem of reliably propelling a sea-frame from one location to another was solved a long time ago and sets the bar for acceptable performance to an all-time low.

      That LCS has had so many problems in that regard is highly unusual.

      • D. Jones

        Reopening the Erie Canal will ensure timely deliveries of future Cheesehead-class LCS to their homeports.

        Maybe.

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Just curious what major engineering casualties have these ships suffered that were not self induced? I’ve read the reports through the Freedom of information act but need some juice (quantitative evidence) to jump on the hate wagon. I’m ready to jump on.

    Being a merchy I know most of this equipment is ABS stamped and operated on many a vessels 24/7 without much problem.

  • Ed L

    Just tow it to the backwaters of the Norfolk naval shipyard.

  • MarlineSpikeMate

    Yeah all those Incat HSCs operating around Jutland have so much trouble.. Those Wärtsilä waterjets sure are unproven… [sarcasm]

    I’ll give you a little hint. I’ve seen them ingest logs before. Granted they have gotten stuck and require backing down with the buckets wide open, but carried on fine.

    • D. Jones

      What Ice class is the LCS?

      • Real sailor

        SECNAV has just announced that the battlefrigate formally known as the frigate, formally known as the LCS will now be known, as a result of a five year long and billion dollar ‘study’ in tests and capabilities, that this ship will now be re-commissioned as the “Little Cold Ship” or LiCoSh for short.

  • Michael D. Woods

    The Navy has made some interesting discoveries–Canada is cold in winter! Water freezes! Who would have thought of it? And look at the capabilities of the ship…it can’t be used in cold weather! I suppose we’ll have to cede the arctic to Russia.

  • thebard3

    Come on, guys. Navy ships are not designed to transit iced over waters. That the ship got stuck there doesn’t reflect on the design or capability.

    • PolicyWonk

      Iced-over water is one thing that the large majority of ships plying the oceans are not designed to handle – this is why we have ice breakers.

      However, it is hardly uncommon for ice to gather on ships that ply cold water environments, and they are normally designed to accommodate these conditions. Yet another issue LCS wasn’t apparently designed for, despite the lamentable fact that you don’t always get to choose where your battles occur (the enemy gets a vote in these matters).

      In the case with LCS, we’re talking about a pair of ship classes that had so many promises made about them, of which none have been kept, and seemingly have more problems that should’ve been obvious (and designed for) by experienced naval architects than other ships classes have – by a wide margin. The ultimate irony is that what the USN calls the “littoral combat ship” (either class) was “not intended to venture into the littorals to engage in combat”, according to former CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert. Other ironies would include willfully ignoring every hard-learned lesson of littoral combat in the design, and not including NECC in the requirements gathering phase.

      Even worse, the appalling lack of room for growth means that armament and protection cannot be upgraded significantly without severely impacting ship weight and performance – which has also led to design/weight issues and delays for the vaunted (but yet to be demonstrated as useful) “mission packages”. Since neither class of LCS not built to the USN’s own survivability standards (and commercial standards prevail), significant upgrades and investments become a dubious proposition anyway. It is notable that the law requires both classes of LCS to be granted legal waivers to be commissioned into the USN.

      This is just one more problem to add to the staggering list of issues that saddle both classes – some of which are so foundational as to render the money invested all but wasted.

      • Lazarus

        Why do you repeat the same, tired arguments with EVERY post you make on LCS. Snooze….So, to your list:
        1) No ships other than icebreakers are designed as ad-hoc icebreakers. The Russians have a couple, but such capabilities are hardly standard.
        2) ADM Greenert was discussing a change in LCS CONOPS in that the class would not drive into a heavily defended littoral and actively engage opponents. No one ships would do that anyway. You misunderstood what the CNO said and continue to do so.
        3) The first two LCS pairs (1 and 2, and 3 and 4) are beginning/interim versions of the class. LCS 5/6 and forward are mature elements and doing well.
        4) “Survivability” standards are a measurement in themselves. You have added the judgmental benchmark of what is “good” enough or not.
        5) There were never any “legal waivers” necessary to commission LCS.
        You might try reading Ron O’Rouke’s CRS reports on the LCS class. They are factual and contain the true, correct information on the program.

        • PolicyWonk

          Because the same tired lines (i.e. LCS problem list) has yet to be resolved. Why do you find that so difficult to fathom?

          Adm. Greenert’s statements were hardly misunderstood, and certainly were not taken out of context. A number of us who post regularly here read that interview on Breaking Defense, and were horrified that he would make such an admission, even given the context of the interview.

          The bottom line, even as was reported on Breaking Defense in that and subsequent articles, and Defense Industry Daily, clearly stated the timelines and final admission by the LCS PEO that no version of LCS: past, present, or future, would ever be built to USN survivability standards.

          This admission came well after the LCS PEO, when explaining the staggering cost increases for these sea-frames, blamed the lions share of the rising costs on reinforcement of the LCS hulls while a-building on the slipways, to the Level 1 standard.

          The subsequent article in Defense Industry Daily, revealed that the LCS PEO deliberately lied to the HoR’s and taxpayers – also confirmed by Breaking Defense.

          Promoting LCS is a hard job – and it must be exhausting to have to wake up every day, to see what other dumb thing happened, so that you feel you have to go on-line yet again defend the indefensible w/r/t this corporate welfare program.

          • Lazarus

            Clearly, you have formed opinions that are not supported by facts.

          • PolicyWonk

            please Please PLEASE do not drool in my direction.

          • Lazarus

            Your fake LCS news is not supported by the facts.

          • PolicyWonk

            My “fake LCS news” as you call it, comes from sources such as Breaking Defense, DOT&E, The USN’s Inspector General, OMB, USNI News, Defense Industry Daily, the DoD, among many others.

            These all no doubt are what you consider “fake news” because they don’t adhere to your (or Grand Admiral Of The Fleet) Duane’s lofty opinions (hallucinations?) of these “littoral combat ships”.

            But you’ve got an uphill battle w/r/t your “fake news” claims, because my opinions are supported by the majority of long-time posters on this (and other) sites (let alone the documentation culled from the sites listed above – among others). The “fake news” is what we get out of the LCS PEO, the recipients of these corporate welfare programs, and the tiny minority that despite the facts still defend the indefensible.

          • Curtis Conway

            Hey PolicyWonk . . . G-d Loves Lazarus. It will be ok . . . eventually . . . as long as your not on an LCS.

          • PolicyWonk

            Heh – right you are. But the ultimate concern for me is the well-being of the crews manning them if ordered into harms way…

          • Lazarus

            You sound like Jackie Speir’s Congressional staff. Lol!

          • What the f..k

            Lax, clearly your b r a i n is not functioning at level 1 standars. Perhap a ‘waiver’ would help 😛

  • Lazarus

    It seems that LCS critics want ships of the class to have problems so much that they invent rumors. Sad.

    • the_artist_formerly_known_as_m

      The “sad” part: the public has become so accustomed to LCS breakdowns and failures that Navy PAOs felt they had to release a preemptive explanation.

      • Lazarus

        There has been only one LCS “breakdown” at sea. The amount of forced, negative news coverage around LCS has conditioned people to believe what is essentially “fake” news.

        • PolicyWonk

          To you perhaps… But you, like other purveyors of fake news, are fortunately in the minority.

          • Lazarus

            Ok, give me your list of LCS “breakdowns” to compare with mine:
            USS Milwaukee: broke down at sea transiting to new home port in early 2016. Cause, software fault.
            USS Fort Worth: Broke down pierside due to a combining gear casualty. Cause: crew fault in aligning system.
            No other LCS has “broken down” underway. Yes, some had seen engineering faults, but not enough for a “breakdown” and being towed back to port. Plenty of Navy ship classes have had breakdowns that resulted in a tow being needed but they don’t get referenced because……they are not LCS.

          • NavySubNuke

            I already shared this on this thread but if you are going to keep lying and deceiving I’ll keep posting it. Here is my list:
            From USNI – dated Sep 16 2016 – “UPDATED: Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery Suffers Engineering Casualty, Fifth LCS Casualty Within Last Year”
            “Littoral Combat Ship USS Montgomery (LCS-8) suffered two unrelated engineering casualties during a transit in the Gulf of Mexico and is heading to Florida for repairs, the Navy told USNI News on Friday.
            On Sept. 13, Independence-class ship was bound for the Panama Canal when Montgomery suffered two engineering failures. Now the ship is headed to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo, Cuba under its own power but under propulsion restrictions before returning to Naval Station Mayport, Fla. for repairs, Naval Surface Forces confirmed to USNI News.”

            “Montgomery’s casualty — only days after the ship was commissioned — is the latest in a string of engineering failures in both classes of LCS this year. In late August, Independence-class LCS USS Coronado (LCS-4) suffered a casualty in route from Pearl Harbor to Singapore for a planned deployment. Days earlier, the Navy confirmed USS Freedom (LCS-2) would have to have a main propulsion diesel engine replaced after sea water flooded the lube oil system. In January, operator error caused a complex gearing system in Freedom-class LCS USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) to suffer extensive damage which resulted in the removal of the ship’s commander. The year before a software problem in USS Milwaukee (LCS-5) caused a similar casualty in its gearing system.”

          • Lazarus

            The question was how many LCS totally broke down at sea; not every single LCS casualty reported in the media. Big difference.

          • NavySubNuke

            I understand that is how you decided to interpret his post so that you could mislead and deceive but that isn’t actually what he said.
            He actually said “the public has become so accustomed to LCS breakdowns and failures”.
            Also, and again I realize you won’t agree because you lack integrity on this subject, a ship that is supposed to be transiting to San Diego and has to limp into the nearest friendly port for emergency repairs followed by a stopover in the nearest maintenance port for further repairs before continuing it’s journey as the Montgomery did is broken down.
            Same with Coronado who had to turn back and limp in Pearl for emergency repairs.

          • Lazarus

            Coronado and Montgomery had similar casualties in their coupling system that connects their Gas Turbine engines to the waterjet system. The Navy goes through this process in all ship classes. Some systems, despite operational testing and evaluation, break more often than predicted and have to be modified or replaced. All surface ship classes have these issues, but only those of LCS get reported because….its LCS.

          • NavySubNuke

            I know you like to view everything as some sort of vast anti-LCS conspiracy but the casualties experienced by D-21 were reported on in just as much detail as the casualties experienced by the LCS.
            Please try to stick to facts.

          • Lazarus

            What is D-21? Do you mean DDG 1000? That program has not suffered near the reporting that LCS has.

          • NavySubNuke

            AH – yes —- sorry, brain cramp.
            DDG-1000’s hasn’t had nearly as many failures as LCS – but the failures it HAS had have been reported on in the same manner. If not more if you include all the hand-wringing over how expensive the gun ammo was going to be.

          • Lazarus

            Ok, fair enough. I agree that DDG 1000 has seen a similar level of intrusive reporting as has LCS.

          • OS1 retired

            WOW, when I was serving, I never ever heard of a ship needing to be towed. We had our own issues (Knox class Frigate) but we were always able to fix them ourselves. To be towed is the ultimate loss of face for a ship and crews, they would be the butt of jokes for years to come and the CO, XO, and Cheng would be hung. So please give us a single example of a non-LCS ship that had to be towed-if you are able.

        • PeterPam

          “Only one breadown at sea” Is it because you don’t know what the meaning of “sea” is?

    • NavySubNuke

      Hardly an invented rumor since the early press reports specifically mentioned the ship made necessary repairs to the steering cable and that after the repairs were complete on Jan 4 the ice was too thick for the ship to leave.
      And if you take of your LCS cheerleader sunglasses for a moment and actually read the words the PAO has apparently said they did nothing to really clarify the situation except to say that 1) repairs weren’t required for safety of ship but were performed anyway and 2) after Jan 4 the ship couldn’t leave because of the ice.
      The report doesn’t do anything to clear up 1) if Little Rock was in port longer than planned because of the repairs — if the ship was supposed to leave after 4 days but stayed 10 to do the repairs would it have been able to leave after the 4 days even though it couldn’t leave after 10? 2) what the actual impact of driving without the repairs performed would be — navigating through a confined waterway with no way of knowing if the waterjets were properly functioning sure sounds like a big deal and one that could contribute to the ship colliding with something or ground for instance 3) could the ship actually get underway once the repairs had begun but were not yet completed or did the fact that they chose to make the repairs leave them stranded until they were complete and the ice was too thick to leave?
      I realize that as one of the few remaining supporters of this failed program you have to grasp at whatever straws you can to try to stay afloat but this statement is a pretty fragile and ineffective straw —- which incidentally is a perfect description of the “combat” capabilities of these ships.

      • Curtis Conway

        Hey, NavySubNuke, how well do you think either LCS hullform would perform in the Arctic/Antarctic, particularly since they have their specific propulsion system?

        • PolicyWonk

          (cringe)…

        • NavySubNuke

          Hard to fault them for failing to safely operate in environments they weren’t designed to operate it. What concerns me more is their inability to operate where they actually are supposed to and at the speed and ranges that were supposedly required.

          • Curtis Conway

            AMEN. Really feel for Charlie Oscar and the crew. I HOPE they do not do something that appears irrational, just to prove a point, and place themselves in greater distress. Don’t think those up top will let that happen.

          • NavySubNuke

            We can hope.
            At least the Navy has recognized the futility of buying more ships that aren’t survivable and off no advantages in combat and is instead looking to purchase a real frigate.
            Doesn’t help the poor guys stock on the over priced death traps we have already procured but at least it is something.

      • Lazarus

        The number of supporters of LCS is actually increasing. I can’t help that it that people jump to conclusions based on past, inaccurate reporting. The repairs to Little Rock took about 4 hours and used parts onboard. That very minor repair had zero to do with weather conditions that kept the ship where it is. Too many conspiracy theorists writing and commenting on LCS.

        • NavySubNuke

          Given how often you have lied about the LCS in the past I’m not willing to believe you when you say the report took 4 hours and relied entirely on on board parts.
          Do you have an actual source you can point to on that or is this more of your super secret back channel data that is for your eyes only?
          Or is this going to be like the time you said LCS actually has much better range performance than anyone actually knew but you can’t share the data with anyone, even CAPT Hendrix who specifically asked for it?

          • Lazarus

            I cannot help that you are not in a loop to know.

          • NavySubNuke

            Thank you for admitting you no actual evidence to support your position.
            Given your lack of any actual evidence and your demonstrated lack of integrity on any issue involving LCS I refuse to accept your explanation.

          • Lazarus

            Whatever. Send me an email and I would be happy to explain and provide you with lots of material.

          • NavySubNuke

            Happy too – please give me your email address and I’ll email you directly.

          • Lazarus

            See my address at informationdissemination

        • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

          It took “4 hours and used parts onboard” well because you were there right??? If it’s so repaired why haven’t they sailed? The waterway is open and commercial traffice is moving, so what’s you excuse for Little frozen ship?

          • Lazarus

            What size commercial traffic? Ships the size of LCS?

          • CHENG1087

            Port of Montreal update, 25 January 2018:

            Ships in port: 36
            Ships “Laid up or wintering lakers”: 12 (including LCS-9)

            Due underway today (1/25):
            BBC OREGON, Cargo, Antigua Barbuda registry, 9,618 GWT, Length 138.48m, Beam 21.34m

            Due underway Friday (1/26):
            MSC ANGELA, Container, Panama, 41,225 GWT, 265.06m, 32.35m
            QUEBEC EXPRESS, Container, Bermuda, 42,382 GWT, 267.7m, 32.2m
            MSC TAMARA, Container, Panama, 41,225 GWT, 264.96m, 32.35m

            Due underway Saturday (1/27):
            GENOA EXPRESS, Container, Hong Kong, 41,286 GWT, 227.95m, 37.38m

          • Lazarus

            Again, ORM may preclude getting underway. A larger ship, even the 9618 ton one, may have an easier time than a smaller ship with light draft and large sail area like LCS.

          • CHENG1087

            How about the three 41,000+GWT containerships getting underway tomorrow (26 January 2018) from the Port of Montreal? Do you contend that the “large sail area” of the LCS is in fact larger than the sail area of an 800 foot long, fully loaded containership? I assume the previous four LCSs built on the GLAKES had to transit the same torturous St. Lawrence Seaway track to finally get to salt water. Did they experience adverse maneuvering conditions as a result of their “light draft and large sail area”?

          • Lazarus

            Think about the LCS combination of shallow draft, large sail area and a displacement that is a fraction of that of 41K ton displacement merchants. Big difference. Add drifting ice, lack of icebreaking units, and a relatively thin hull and you reach a level of operational risk management that says stay where you are. The surface navy is a bit “gun shy” right now after the accidents of this summer and it is not surprising that they are displaying some restraint. Maybe the CO of Little Rock said “no” to the idea of a transit through ice packs that could hole the ship?

          • CHENG1087

            I reluctantly buy the “gun shy” argument, particularly in view of the recent bad press the Surface Navy has been receiving. And I can also understand some true timidity in this case, with a newly-commissioned ship that has never actually been steamed by her crew before. The LCS shiphandling trainer at SWOS in Newport is great stuff, but I doubt there is a St. Lawrence Seaway wintertime transit in its data base. The entire LITTLE ROCK shiphandling/navigation team now stranded in Montreal is virtually on its first “solo,” and transiting the St. Lawrence Seaway is a professional challenge even for a seasoned SWO with many such sea details under his belt. I guess it is prudent to stay put until there are fewer “variables” to contend with. But I wish the USN would level with us as to the real reason, since it is clear to many of us that LCS-9 could proceed to sea now if only she had a confident team on the bridge.

          • CHENG1087

            I’m not sure the “shallow draft, large sail area” argument is valid. I agree that the sloping “billboard” sides of the middle third of the FREEDOM class appear imposing when viewed in isolation. But is her sail area dramatically different from the sail areas of either the PERRY and KNOX Class frigates? I don’t know how to quantify sail area, but my “seaman’s eye” tells me they are roughly comparable. If you ignore the 1052’s huge SQS-26 sonar dome — the reason for the KNOX class’s 26+ feet navigational draft — you will see that the KNOX class has a displacement draft of only about 15 feet. This is comparable to both the PERRY and the FREEDOM classes. And it is displacement draft (i.e., the mass below the waterline) that will oppose the force of the wind against a ship’s sail area. So, I don’t really believe the “shallow draft, large sail area” argument is particularly unique to the FREEDOM class LCS.

          • CHENG1087

            I don’t buy the “drifting ice” argument, either. The first photo in this article clearly shows LITTLE ROCK underway at slow speeds in a channel full of “drifting ice.” Seems to me like convincing evidence that her water jets — sucking water from 14+/- FEET below the surface — are not sucking in chunks of one-to two-INCH ice. After all, as a previous poster noted, “ice floats.” LCS-9 entered the Port of Montreal under her own waterjet power, through “drifting ice,” and as the official U. S. Navy PAO announcement made clear, there is no engineering malfunction on LCS-9.

          • CHENG1087

            And I definitely don’t buy the “lack of ice breaking units” smokescreen. Are we really expected to believe the Government of Canada wouldn’t intervene to make an exception to the “policy” that commercial ships have priority for the ice breaking services of the Canadian Coast Guard? And even if that were the unlikely case, there are TWO icebreaking tugs of the United States Coast Guard, homeported in Cleveland, OH, just a few steaming days away, through the Welland Canal. (USCGC NEAH BAY (WTGB-105) and USCGC MORRO BAY (WTGB-106)). And I can GUARANTEE that our Coastie brothers and sisters would take obscene delight in rushing to the rescue of a USN warship that is reluctant to get underway!

          • CHENG1087

            Finally, “relatively thin hull.” Relative to what? I don’t know the thickness of LITTLE ROCK’s hull, but unlike the INDEPENDENCE class LCSs, her hull is steel, not aluminum. What is the thickness of her steel hull? What is the ASTM rating of her hull plating? Other than scraped and abraded boot topping paint, is it even a remote possibility that small chunks of broken ice — as shown in the first photograph — would punch a “hole” in her hull while proceeding at slow to moderate speeds in the St. Lawrence Seaway? “Thin”? How thin?

          • Real sailor

            If a little bitty floating ice can easily hole the paper thin LCS, just imagine what an 100mm shell will do to it, and yes, they LCS is outgunned by pretty much every Chinese warship out there

          • Old Salt

            OMG!!! That’s embarassing to say a ship the size of the LCS needs to have a tug to move down a river. After all, it’s shallow water i.e. the LITTORALs. Isn’t the LCS supposed to shine in this tepid environment? Lord knows, it has great difficultly out on the big bad open ocean (cue videos of the LCS having a tough go in sea state two) so shallow water is the only ‘safe’ place for it. Maybe we need to rename this to the the LSC or Little Scared Ship. LOL

          • Lazarus

            Navigation in the St. Lawrence river is a challenges. Currents regularly reach 5 kts or more in speed. The river may be open and ok for larger ships with tug support, but LCS may be a different story. Prudent, operational risk management may have concluded that sailing in that mess (fast current, drifting ice, other ships, wind/precipitation) was not a good idea.

    • PolicyWonk

      What’s really sad, is that rumors of both LCS classes usefulness have to be generated, because they have yet to be demonstrated/proven.

      The continuing problems both LCS classes have, have been widely reported even in the civilian press, while every report on LCS from every independent auditing agency we have (including the USN’s own Inspector General) has been nothing short of scathing. The only favorable press comes from the LCS PEO, the recipients of this blatant corporate welfare program, and the self-appointed “Grand Admiral Of The Fleet” Duane. Oh yes – and you.

      By the time any of the “real” mission packages are deployed, both classes will be undergoing mid-life upgrades. We can only hope, that the “carrier bottom cleaning”, “fleet septic-sucker”, and “harbor pizza delivery” mission packages will be ready before both classes are decommissioned and sent to the scrapyards.

      • Lazarus

        LCS is not designed to have an expensive, mid life overhaul.

        • PolicyWonk

          It wasn’t designed to be a useful asset either. Ironically, other sites have mentioned mid-life maintenance periods are being scheduled for the earlier ships in both classes.

          • Lazarus

            Not the same as the sort of mid-life overhaul that the DDG 51 class is starting.

          • PolicyWonk

            DDG 51’s are useful warships, that have served far harder duty than either of the pier-queen classes the taxpayers have been shafted into paying for.

          • Lazarus

            DDG’s have been around since 1991 and in much greater numbers than LCS so of course they have seen more service.

          • PolicyWonk

            Nor did they sit pier-side for as long as either LCS class before they were deployed. In short, unlike both LCS classes, when it comes to the Burkes: the homework got done.

          • Lazarus

            Different class, different CONOPS. MCM’s and PC’s also do not deploy in cycles from CONUS.

          • Richard Jonesy

            The USS Constitution has been around much longer and it’s still comissioned as a WARSHIP. Let’s see what the “we need a waiver” LCS will be doing in a few more years

        • Retired CO

          Laz, do you realize it’s been 14 years since the first LCS was put into service. That is well past it’s mid-life design. In other few years we going to have to start retiring the first LCS simply because they are worn out, the hulls are getting thin, and their turning into rust buckets.

          • Lazarus

            LCS have not been subject to the same punishing deployment cycles that have aged previous combatants before their time.

          • PolicyWonk

            True – there isn’t much punishment when the boats in question are tied to the pier…

    • Old Salt

      yep Laz, it’s a good that the LCS has the “Break often-need drydock” module working, it’s seems to be the only module that does work-despite all the promises of the last 14 YEARS of development

      • Lazarus

        The Navy made some bad initial choices on module equipment to be sure, but the non innovative US Defense Acquisition system (early 1960’s vintage design) and its 1980’s DOT&E add on bear significant blame as well.

  • Eric Arllen

    For an LCS to be ice locked is merely a convenient way to put off the inevitable engineering casualty for a little while. At least having any LCS sidelined, whether for an excess of ice or for engineering failure, has no practical adverse impact on the Navy’s war fighting capabilities as the LCS class(es) makes no meaningful contribution anyway.

    • tpharwell

      You make a point which leads us to the backround story on the affairs of this ship. She is named for a city in Arkansas, which is part of the Mississippi River “littoral”. A ship can get there. Yet, supposedly because the old cruiser is tied up in Buffalo, it was decided to hold the commissioning ceremony there, in December. It has been reported that the ship made its way there, despite a casualty of some sort in the Weiland Canal, two weeks ahead of the date. Presumably, builder’s trials were on Lake Michigan last summer; who knows, maybe the year before that.

      It is apparent, therefore, that the risk of the USS Little Rock getting locked in in the St. Lawrence River basin mattered little to Navy operational planners. Had the Navy cared about it, Little Rock would be in Mayport now, instead of Montreal.

      That, Sir, is a rock solid conclusion. The necessary inference is such as you describe.

      • D. Jones

        Any Welland Canal blockage would have been post-commissioning (Buffalo to Montreal circuit). Conceivable that a lock or ship iced up and got stuck, but think she made it to Montreal about Christmas (corrections invited). That leaves no explanation for sitting in Montreal for 17 days waiting for the SLS to close. Would be interesting to know the date(s) of the last ships through to the Atlantic. Certainly a smaller ship like the Little Rock could have tagged close behind a big freighter or tanker, unless the Navy lacked confidence she could make it without another engineering casualty.

        Trotting out the Navy’s equivalent of Baghdad Bob to tell everyone, “nothing to see here” is something less than confidence-inspiring.

        If there’s a problem, be honest. “This is what we found, this is why we’re not sailing, this is how we’re gonna fix it.”

        Wishful thinking, I know…

        • Lazarus

          Ever heard of holiday leave and standdown? It might have been easier to keep the ship where it was rather than deny holiday leave to the crew. The USN tries to be compassionate in regards to crew welfare.

  • Ctrot

    Running the feedback cables under the hull seems like a very bad idea.

    • Lazarus

      This is probably a misunderstanding on the part of the PAO.

      • NavySubNuke

        You’d hope – but given the long history of complete incompetence the PEO LCS office has displayed it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

      • PolicyWonk

        The LCS PEO seems to have suffered from an unusually high number of misunderstandings…

        • Lazarus

          The PAO in question is NOT affiliated with PEO LCS.

    • NavySubNuke

      So is putting dissimilar metals into electric contact in the presence of an electrolyte —- but that didn’t stop PEO LCS from allowing it.
      No worries though – after the ship started disintegrating despite being only a year old the Navy passed them enough bags of cash to actually put a anti-corrosion system on and to repair the damage caused by their own incompetence.
      I’m sure none of that is in play here….

    • MarlineSpikeMate

      They don’t run under the hull, but rather about a few feet outside and connect to the steerable waterjets. This is exactly the same system on many high speed water jet vessels around the world.

      • Curtis Conway

        This is a combat vessel that can be subject to exposure to ice and debris in the water . . . right? Sound like a great design to you?

        • MarlineSpikeMate

          I just simply stated a fact. They do not run under the hull. They have had mechanical issues with them on accession however (not due to ice)…

  • PolicyWonk

    “The cables run underneath the hull, and Hillson said that “root cause of the failure is currently unknown, but based on components being frozen and iced over, it is likely that ice was a contributing factor.”
    ===============================================
    Great. Our own USN is openly admitting these ships were not designed to handle cold weather, as if that somehow makes it all better (to paraphrase: “this wasn’t the fault of the badly designed propulsion plant”).

    Aren’t basic sea-frame design reviews supposed to include people who are knowledgeable w/r/t naval architecture and the effects of cold weather? Even commercial ships/boats venture into cold water!

    Acquisition malpractice is what this is all about.

    • NavySubNuke

      Come on now – we are talking about a program that accepted a ship design that featured dissimilar metals in electrical contact in the presence of sea water and only figured it out when the ship started to disintegrate after by it’s first birthday. No worries though – I’m sure the Navy paid a pretty penny to bolt on a corrosion prevention system afterwards just like how the Navy is paying right now to bolt on a basic anti-ship missile capability that isn’t even integrated into the ships fire control.
      Granted that was an “even” problem and this is an “odd” problem but at this point no one should be surprised by PEO LCS’s absolute and complete incompetence and mismanagement.

  • NavySubNuke

    Lost in all the PAO weasel words is any clue as to whether the ship was delayed in Montreal by the repairs – which were not completed until 4 Jan – and any clue as to whether or not the ship would have been able to get out had it left on time.
    The PAO also doesn’t address what the actual impact of driving without the repairs performed would be — navigating through a confined waterway with no way of knowing if the waterjets were properly functioning sure sounds like a big deal and one that could contribute to the ship colliding with something or ground for instance. Just because the repairs weren’t “necessary” to get underway again doesn’t mean it was appropriate to do so.

    • Lazarus

      Repairs were completed in less than 5 hours and used parts on board.PAO’s seldom have a full understanding of engineering issues.

      • D. Jones

        Dremel tool & duct tape?

        One of the supposed “advantages” of the LCS was dispensing with a half-decent on-board shop.

        A 5-hour fix does not account for not making it to the Atlantic in 26 days (Dec 16 was the ceremony in Buffalo. SLS closed 1/11/18). Thought these ships were fast. Where’d all that other time go? Was LCS9 running the sail power module?

        • Lazarus

          Commissioning ceremonies usually involve a week-long visit or more to the port where the ship formally enters USN service as a commissioned unit. The Christmas/winter holidays also came right after the event and the ship’s chain of command may have opted to keep Little Rock where she was to better facilitate leave.

          • D. Jones

            They have ceremonies for everything. Maybe less time spent on pomp & circumstance and more on getting to work.

            If you have time, peruse the list of Society of Sponsors of the United States Navy. Go to the Membership list. There are deserving members, such as widows and daughters of ship’s namesakes, and a whole lot of political wives (reward for a congressman’s “help” usually)

            Colombia (SSN-771) is one example. So many deserving women are passed by to grease political palms.

          • Lazarus

            I am familiar with the list. I was assigned to the precommissioning crew of a PC in the mid 1990’s.

      • Curtis Conway

        “PAO’s seldom have a full understanding of engineering issues.” Wrong people at PAO! competency comes with familiarity. The PAO does not even understand the fundamentals of the issue at hand? Are there ANY engineers in the PAO, or are they all . . . politicians, policy people, and bean counters.

  • kye154

    .There are several things that has made littoral ships obsolete today:

    1. As the Little Rock has proven, an LCS cannot operate in icy waters, limiting where it can go. Its a sitting duck in icy waters too.

    2. Live, real time military satellites, and airborne sensor technology for surveillance and targeting are far superior to anything currently installed on the LCSs.

    3. Missiles and “smart” munitions have the speed advantage over the ships.

    4. Although LCSs have missiles, any ship or aircraft can be outfitted to carry missiles. We do not need a special platform, like an LCS, for that.

    5. The LCSs, are tied to a logistics problem. They simply can’t go the distance. It must be within a reasonable distance of a homeport or a mother ship for refueling, rearming, and other support.or In the case of the American LCSs, its modularized. LCSs cannot carry its full range of armament without switching modules for a particular combat mission. With the uncertainties of combat, its a little hypocritical to be hunting for a fight without a proper weapon immediately in hand, or be very far away when you need to switch mission modules.

    6. Drones can fulfill a lot of roles of what LCSs were designed for, and they don’t risk loosing sailors either, if one gets shot down. And if you want something that is “expendable”, drones certainly fit the bill a lot better than building expensive LCSs to expend..

    7. Advances today in adversaries’ mobile missiles and sensory technology is making it extremely dangerous and difficult for littoral ships to operate close to any contested coastline. Land based mobile launchers, drones, and mini-subs nullifies that advantage and deny access of the LCS. The mobile launchers are also far easier to replicate in large numbers than LCS’s too, making it impossible for the LCS to win the numbers game in a shooting contest.

  • Refguy

    “Feedback cables don’t control the [steering]”, but the bridge does need to know if the jets are responding. They’re also critical for proper functioning of a closed loop system, which I assume the LCS has. Is there a second feed back loop for the primary steering system and the autopilot?

  • D. Jones

    “I felt a great disturbance in the Forum, as if millions of Duanes suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      “Use the schwartz Duannee” (but please do that in private)

  • D. Jones

    A look at historical closing dates of the Seaway should be enough to call into question the career(s) of whoever planned “Buffalo in December” as a good commissioning time.

    A cursory search of local media yields more than the Public Disinformation Officer’s proclamation:

    “… hours after leaving Buffalo following its formal commissioning, the U.S. Navy’s newest battleship USS Little Rock LCS9 docked along the Welland Canal wall in Port Colborne due to a reported “mechanical issue”. The Welland Tribune reported the development and received no indication how serious the issue was or how long the delay may be.

    Thursday morning, WBEN learned the ship’s transit would resume through the Welland during the day.

    The new ship left Buffalo Wednesday morning and was expected to enter the Welland Canal and transit the locks and enter Lake Ontario for its trip to the St. Lawrence Seaway and out to the Atlantic.

    The Tribune says the area where the ship is docked is secured and there is no public access.” (WBEN/Welland Tribune)

    So in addition to problems in Montreal there was another snafu? Was it the same problem or something different?

    Maybe the patches were quietly deemed not seaworthy, and the decision to winter in Montreal was more than just ice.

    Timelines of transit can be reconstructed (albeit roughly) from tweets and other sources (USSLittleRock9 on twitter)

    No doubt all manner of bubbles and heaters are being deployed whilst parked in Montreal.

  • Chesapeakeguy

    Do the sailors manning the Little Rock get ‘sea pay’ while they are laid up?

    Also, can’t help but ask if a big ‘screw you’ is directed at the US here? The article does say that commercial traffic is being prioritized by Canadian officials, and thus the Little Rock will have to wait.

    • OS1 retired

      They’re even going to get hazardous duty pay, due to the fact that they’re stuck in a foreign (french speaking) land, full of strange people and customs, eh?

  • Duane-aka Sir Lockmart

    Just turn on the anti-ice warfare module and away you go. Or wait, you say you need to deploy it and drag it behind on a sled? Oh well, I guess the anti-ice warfare module needs another ten years of development. But it’s still the best anti-ice warfare ship in the navy BAR NONE…

  • D. Jones

    Maybe some intermediate rating between water & ice could expand and define the LCS’ sphere of operation. Like “pudding” or something. That way if some freighter in the SCS wrecks into a DDG and dumps tapioca into the ocean, the LCS crew would know instantly whether to proceed or head for the nearest Canadien port.

  • CHENG1087

    I need some help understanding the physics of handling a waterjet propelled ship. My experience at sea was in conventionally powered ships (steam, high and low pressure turbines, locked-train double reduction gears, fixed pitch propellers) with conventional rudders. Bare steerageway in my ships was usually about three knots. Is there such a thing as bare steerageway in a waterjet propelled ship, where the waterjet provides both propulsion and steering? Can the FREEDOM class LCS be effectively “twisted” with opposite thrust, port and starboard, or is she dependent on tugs in close confines? I know she can tear along at 47 knots at full power, but how maneuverable is she at dead slow speeds in the narrow confines of a river or a restricted channel? Thanks.

  • CHENG1087

    The “Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel” reported that Marinette Marine Personnel were assisting the crew of LITTLE ROCK in “winterizing the ship for its icy berth.” The LCS’s crew apparently implemented Marinette Marine’s “Cold weather care and protection plan.” Marinette is LITTLE ROCK’s builder.

    This got me to thinking:

    — What is the total cost of hiring Marinette to assist in “winterizing” LITTLE ROCK? How many Marinette technicians and managers are now subsisting in Montreal hotels “until Spring”?

    — What is the daily cost of “hotel services” to support the LCS? (Is she taking her own suction from the river for firemain, cooling systems, etc.? And if so, what about the dreaded “drifting ice”?)

    — What is the daily “rent” for her berth? Sanitation services? Trash? Laundry? Reimbursement to Montreal for Security/police/fire services? Etc.

    — How many of her 70+ crew were actually on leave in FL when LR got underway from Buffalo? Were some married personnel permitted to take leave to assist their families in relocating from WI to FL while the ship was in transit? Is the USN now flying LCS-9 crew back and forth to FL for humanitarian or family reasons?

    — Assuming there was actual work awaiting this newly-commissioned “ship of the line,” which ship has been tasked with picking up LITTLE ROCK’s dropped baton? How will this schedule disruption adversely impact all the duties that she was expected to perform in FL?

    The St. Lawrence Seaway is open to the sea, and the U. S. Navy contends there is nothing physically wrong with LITTLE ROCK. Therefor, why is she still tied to the pier in Montreal?

  • CHENG1087

    The U. S. Navy PAO informs us that LITTLE ROCK will conduct training during her hiatus in Montreal. One area of training concentration will be navigation. What a wonderful opportunity! I hope the CO contacts the Canadian Coast Guard and arranges “ride-alongs” for LITTLE ROCK’s shiphandling and navigation teams as the Canadian icebreaking tugs go about their daily routine of keeping the port and seaway open. And why not contact the Captain of the Port of Montreal and arrange similar “ride-alongs” with Harbor and lock pilots as they perform their tasks servicing the many commercial and private vessels that arrive and depart daily from the Port of Montreal. Sure would beat sitting in a chair and reading “Dutton’s” week after week.